Friday, 25 December 2015

Movement but no way out...


That line "And so this is Christmas and what have you done..." is in my head and I thought I'd post a little something before I head off to family time. Then I started thinking about stuff that has happened since last year... then I realised I don't have the time for this lol - it would take more than a year to think it all through!
The adventures, the places and most impactful of all (as is always the case) - has been the humans along the way... the seasoned activists & the overwhelmed newcomers alike, all powering each other on in this relentless drive for the things we know to be more important than anyone's 'economy'.
The freezing camps, the long marches, too many coach & train journeys to recall, the warm receptions, the spikey confrontations, the ugly politics, the valued & vital posts of love, support (and even cats & sunsets that blissfully distract!)... and the hugs of solidarity that are the uniquest of all hug-types and maybe - the most satisfying. Hugs that say "I know it's not easy, I know it seems endless - but it is what it is and it has to be done. But I'm here too and we'll get through this."
It is a sharp realisation to know that going back to acceptance, is not possible or even an option.
To those who got us through this 5th year of NO FRACKING YET!!!! and all who fight for justice, the NHS, for peace, for Palestine, for refugees, for Zane, for education, for care for our elders, for renewables, for fairness, for truth - we are all on the same road, powered by ourselves and our honourable purpose... thank you for being the best company along the way and for all you do that adds to the movement that we are; I have learnt and felt more than I knew possible.
Namaste heart emoticon

Thursday, 17 December 2015

I Pledge...



It is our numbers that make us strong and it is in showing just how many are prepared to stand up and oppose the risks government takes with our health and well-being - that we send shivers down the spines of industry and potential investors. Media never shows just how many we are and with events stretching us in all directions... I thought a PLEDGE TO ACT might help.

By getting everyone who turns up to demonstrations, puts on public meetings, leaflets their neighbourhoods, creates or stays at protection camps or otherwise acts against unconventional energy techniques like fracking, CBM, CSG etc. to add their name to PLEDGE TO DO IT AGAIN... we will have our numbers loud and clear. I think this will help.

Please sign & share...

I (and the under-signed) PLEDGE TO TAKE NON-VIOLENT, DIRECT ACTION to prevent unconventional energy techniques (fracking, csg, cbm, ucg etc.) from being used.

Our UK government has:
- changed the rules so that it can frack under previously protected natural areas
- said it will take the planning decisions away from local councils if not satisfied
Despite broad opposition in the UK (and across the world) and despite promises made in Paris to act for the air we breathe, the water we depend on and the quality of the environments in which we live - the government is pushing through its plans for unconventional gas and oil regardless.

Rules are changed, opposition silenced and voices even of medical professionals ignored... so what now? People from all parts of the UK have campaigned to stop fracking since 2011 and it has worked. There are currently no full fracking production sites in the UK... but we don't know how long we can hold them back.

You are needed... please pledge here by signing to agree to take YOUR own non-violent, direct action (alone, with others etc.). It can be any action that suits you - from lobbying your MP, handing out information, attending a demonstration or march, visiting a protection camp, helping out your local group or for those limited by health or responsibilities,sharing this and other posts to inform others. The ONLY rule is that your action must be NON-VIOLENT.

Together we CAN show just how big and determined we are and in doing this - demand democracy of our government.
CLICK HERE to join 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

A Community Protection Camp

Community Protection Camp



Building towers
Reinforcing commitment
With cemented wheelie bins
And chains of dedication



The drums beat the dance right out of you
And the pipes call the souls out to play
Cold wind whips normality aside and
Paint-trailed words of love, show the way


Soothed with the fruit and veg of human kindness
Community gratitude for what ‘s being endured
For what ‘s to come
And for what can never be 
…if only
The Protectors succeed


The poets, dreamers, lovers and the lost
Refresh & replenish here
Pit stops to pick up 
Love, hope, determination, passion, beauty
From the muddy hands clasped in solidarity
The chilled cheeks kissed to feel humanity
The warm hugs seized for the memories



 Protectors of the land 
…have come home


Monday, 7 December 2015

Upton Community Protection Camp

In this fight against the threat of unconventional energy techniques like fracking, coal bed methane, coal seam gasification etc. I have been to many 'Protection' camps over the past 4 years ...each a truly unique gift from humanity to itself. I can't imagine finding the words for sharing the truth of the Protector Camp experiences... there is a very deeply emotional level to sharing in genuine community, that defies description... But our beautiful Colin Gong gets it here:
,...................................

From Colin...

Oh dear ladies & gentleman, today your 'on-the-ground live (and totally biased) reporter' has been going all soft on the inside, whilst simultaneously trying to puff himself up to be all tough on the outside - twice I have found myself welling up and with a tear in my eye...

The first time was in the afternoon. A lovely local couple and their sweet young daughter had come to visit, and I had engaged with them in the kitchen. We had barely gone beyond the hello stage when the mother said to me 'there is something my daughter would like to say to you'. I guess she was aged around 6 or 7, so she was of a height that meant when I bent down onto my knee, I was face to face with her and nicely on a level to listen properly to what she had to say.

I don't remember her words exactly, but fairly closely it went something like this
'Thank you for protecting us..Nobody else is protecting us The government are not protecting us, the council are not protecting us, and the school are not protecting us, so you are the only people who are protecting us'.

She was looking me right in the eye when she said it, and she said it all quite slowly, in an unusually deliberate and measured way for one so young. It was probably within a second of when she had finished speaking that i felt the welling up. Mainly I averted it, by standing up and turning away from her just a little bit to look outside the kitchen for a moment. But what met my eyes out there was another mother I had just met, standing there with a babe-in-arms, just a year old.... ... and it hit me all over again - 'my god what legacy are we in danger of leaving for these young souls? ... and for the generations that are to come after them?
(how can anyone not be horrified by that?)

I am not normally one to hold things like that in, but I guess at some level I sensed it was not the best time to let it come up and out. Apart from anything else, I still had a long 'to do' list for the day!

The second time I will tell you about in a moment.

Today we had the grey sky and light rain to gently cleanse us for much of the morning, and I sensed that a lot of people (including me!) were pretty tired after a long and busy day yesterday. Nothing was getting done in a hurry, that was for sure.

Then around early lunchtime, a minor exodus started - mainly it was people who had come from distant places and who were bound by work obligations..I think without exception they all said how sorry they were that they couldn't stay longer. Then one camp members who are more or less giving their whole life to the cause, and who probably enjoys few things in life more than a good lock-on, said they had to bail out for a short while to prevent their health declining any further than it had all ready. Clearly he was feeling quite unwell and badly in need of proper rest and recuperation in a safe, warm.and dry place. It was obvious that he needed to go, but it was not a departure we had seen coming.
There was a moment just after that when Olive and I looked at each other, and we both knew we were thinking the same thing, but we didn't say it out loud.

Although we kept the faith, at that stage numbers on the camp were starting to look concerningly low..

Cometh the hour though, cometh the men.

And sure enough, within 15 minutes.of that last departure, a posse arrived that instantly buoyed our spirits - six or seven young to middle aged men walked in with serious faces,, in single file and without looking sideways or saying a word.

We are privileged to know a couple of them fairly well from previous campaigns, and we knew these arrivals were seriously bad news for igas and their hired hench-men.

It was probably just after these arrivals that the weather lifted and things began to dry out, and for the middle part of the day it was business as usual. That's a steady stream of visitors, against a back drop of very purposeful 'work' activities going on at various strategic positions around the site - more scaffold poles going from horizontal to vertical, lookout shelters being built, and weak points in perimeters being reinforced..

Thank you to those who came bearing gifts - ranging from home baked cakes still warm from the oven, to a whole box cans of expanding foam.

Thank you also to the visiting supporters who happily chipped in with the daily chores of camp, which helped to free up the time of experienced people to do undefined 'other things' (lol).

At tea time Olive and I bobbed off for a while, wellies n all, to the local eatery/pub to get some things charged up and have a hearty meal. Olive went to the bar, and when she came back she was bearing some food vouchers that she had just been gifted by the proprietor for 'service to the community' and news of the offer of some food to take back to the camp - that was a nice surprise!

We got back to the camp quite late, but all charged up and with appetites fully sated. Before retiring for the night I took a slow stroll around the site. The atmosphere at all the various points where people congregate was notably calm and peaceful. As someone remarked, the temperature is so mild as to be more like autumn than winter, and thanks were given for that.

As I left the site through the main entrance, I stayed for a while to listen to the music around the fire drum that is just inside the gate there. It was k on acoustic guitar and vocals and s on penny whistle, playing in such a way that completely enchanted me, along with the glow of the fire.
It left me with an awareness that I have now had many many times before - that life of a front-line anti-fracker is a rich rich life, in the most meaningful sense of those words.

So I leave you with that second time I found myself welling up. I guess in the main it was what I hadn;t allowed to come up properly earlier.

It was in the bistro after we had eaten, and was triggered by this short but rousing video from Balcombe in Sussex and the summer of 2013. It always takes me back there, and it rarely fails to move me,

Better out than in as they say, and this time there was no need to hold it in...
Sweet dreams everyone, and lets see what tomorrow brings.

https://vimeo.com/74386321

Thursday, 3 December 2015

F*cking Syria

Great Britain being great
At slaughter for the state
Of economies, mock democracies
Dirty, secret, deal-making cronies

Primed, prepped, erect and shiney
Ejaculating bombs
From on high as almighty
Politicians playing judge and jury
Free reigning letting loose the fury
On titled, named, shamed:
“death cult of woman-hating, muslim-murdering medieval-monsters”

With such precision do they come
Death splatters only the evil ones
No dads, kids, grandmas or mums
Are harmed in the making of this war

This mission? “Cause we can”
This entirely crazy plan
To just keep killing
Till the killing stops

And maybe the energy market’s former drop
Also stops
And coffers fill from trade in
Ill
Gotten arms

And more still from manipulating 
Staging, re-arranging political situations
In these other people’s nations
Getting one and all capitulating
To the call for new trade deals
Oiling the wheels of fighter jets


….primed, prepped, erect





Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Not in my Name

Sadly re-posting again... to make it clear:

NOT IN MY NAME

Threats never uttered are whispered verbatim,
creating fear of a hypothetical invasion,
as media strings play methodical hype,
orchestrating the public, to conform to type.

Spoon fed with fear on news laden,
heaped with visual connotations,
of danger lurking at our doors,
of certain death for those who ignore,
the hypothesis laid down as fact,
the incessant chitter, incessant chat,
gets us addicted to leader's projection,
junkies now for his brand of protection.

Dependent and needy,
craving, hungry, greedy.
Surrounded by blue teeth grinning barbarity,
sneering, seething images of vulgarity.

So our boys are pushed up to the wire,
shot with propoganda so they will not tire,
of protecting their families at home,
from evil doers looking to dethrone,
the powers that watch over us…
…the nervous dependent populous.

We must be saved from the supposed threat.
We must invade the terrorist nest.
We must kill the alien foe.
We must, we must, we must overthrow.

But first we must trust the source of the truths,
before we feed the war, any more youths.
Before the troops, lose one more brave soul.
Before the powers, reach any more goals.
Before Libya and Syria,
Iran and North Korea,
fall foul of our leaders' dictates of behaviour -
refuse to appreciate us as their savior.

Before we beat them into submission,
maybe we could establish just whose permission,
was granted before we shed so much blood,
before a trickle was blasted into a flood.

Before the next purple-tipped finger is crushed,
we must realise that "we the people" have been hushed,
for too long now, kept in our place,
as fellow humans are easily erased,
by bold leaders brandishing our names,
claiming we desired all of this shame.



Not in my name, not in my name, not in my name.




#UptonBlockade - Will you show up? - 4th December 2015




About this weekend at Upton Community Protection Camp​ with Frack Free Upton (Chester)​ and why we really need this #UptonBlockade on 4 December to happen in as big a way as possible. We are hoping to emulate even a fraction of the success and solidarity of the incredible #BentleyBlockade.

The following is my response to a request for a quote for a Press Release about why we're doing this and what the Direct Action Training we're thinking of having on 5 December indicates:
.....................................................................................

Our communities are being put at risk and we are no longer even able to rely on a fair hearing through our Councillors on planning applications, as Westminster has shown they are willing to make the decisions for us, if ours don't suit them. Preventing unconventional energy companies from riding roughshod over our communities whilst the government cheer-leads for them, is a demanding yet essential task.

We stand now with Upton, Cheshire as this camp defends against iGas plans for coal bed methane (techniques similar to fracking) extraction and intends on evicting the campaigners.

We are standing in defence of our young, because the regulators aren't strong enough to ensure their safety. We cannot and will not stop until the energy companies do - because to do so, would show neglect for our children.

As campaigners, activists, protectors, we have kept this industry at bay for 4 years now. We have used every legal tool our democracy allows us and we succeeded in Lancashire... until the makers of the laws and rules, took the right to decide away from us. Direct Action training is now required as we run out of options.

NONE of us want to act unlawfully but when those making the laws are acting in deceitful and corrupted ways... that remove all other options, then how do we get included in the decision making? How are we heard?

When the lawmakers act unlawfully - it becomes impossible to trust the law... or honour it.
.....................................................................................

Hopefully see you at Upton from the 4th December 2015 for the #UptonBlockade

Duttons Lane, Upton CH2 2PE


Will you show up?​ 




*Inspired by Bentley x